|Tulips and pedestrians have taken over from cars on the new Spirit Trail at Ambleside park in West Vancouver. What could be wrong with that? Photo by John.|
|A close-up of the planters, which looked sad and grey last winter when they were empty.|
I am the last person to champion cars, and boats, well, I don’t have a particular feeling for them either. But West Vancouver’s new Ambleside waterfront plan has me wondering whether that city might be going a bit, ahem, overboard.
Argyle Avenue – the road dividing the railway tracks and the waterfront park – is being closed to cars between 13th and 14th and 16th and 18th; a number of parking spots are being removed, and the public boat launch on Ambleside beach is no more.
Instead of cars, a row of planters bursting with purple tulips now meanders down Argyle (renamed the “Spirit Trail”) between 13th and 14th, dividing bicyclists and pedestrians. On Thursday, when John and I walked the trail, it was pleasant and pretty, but we wondered about how the many changes being made to the park will affect its accessibility.
With reduced parking, located farther away, the less-mobile will have a harder time getting to parts of the park. Those who drive will have to fight for parking spaces. Those wanting to launch boats are out of luck. John and I saw a car with a boat-trailer and boat attached circling the area hopelessly – obviously someone hadn’t kept up with the park “improvements.”
But expensive new condos are being added to those already lining the waterfront, and the beautifully redone park will be right at their front door. I expect the residents of all those buildings will enjoy it very much.
|Some tulips that aren't displacing traffic: these are outside the Ferry Building art gallery, which always has beautiful flower displays.|